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Countries Doing Too Little on Warming: Researchers

May 25, 2012
(Reuters)

Greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 could rise to nine billion metric tons (9.92 billion tons) above what is needed to limit global warming as some countries look set to miss their emissions cut targets, a report by three climate research groups said on Wednesday.

Countries have agreed that deep emissions cuts are needed to limit an increase in global average temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius this century above pre-industrial levels, a threshold that scientists say is the minimum required to limit devastating effects like crop failure and melting glaciers.

They believe the 2 degree limit is only possible if emissions levels are kept to around 44 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020.

The report by non-governmental organization Climate Analytics, consultancy Ecofys and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said many governments are not implementing policies to meet their emissions reduction pledges for 2020, and could increase rather than close the gap between real emissions and what is needed to limit warming,

Negotiators from over 180 nations are meeting in Bonn, Germany, until Friday, to work towards getting a new global climate pact signed by 2015 and to ensure ambitious emissions cuts are made after the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of this year.